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Ford Mustang becomes world's best-selling sports car

The 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302 is the very definition of American muscle.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Happy Mustang Day! Ford is celebrating the 56th birthday of one of its most beloved nameplates with a historic announcement. The Ford Mustang is now the world's best-selling sports car.

Mustang already holds a few other titles. It's been America's best-selling sports car for the last 50 years and the best-selling sports coupe for the past five.

"We're proud of our growing Mustang stable and performance variants," said Jim Farley, chief operating officer, Ford Motor Company. "From Sweden to Shanghai, more and more driving enthusiast are enjoying the feeling of freedom and the American open road in these new Mustangs. We are honored to serve our owners, enthusiasts and fans for 56 years and counting."

2018 Ford Mustang GT Coupe

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

According to IHS Markit, during 2019 102,090 units of the Mustang were sold worldwide. During this period, Mustang sales in Germany increased 33 per cent, in Poland sales rose by nearly 50 per cent, and in France, they nearly doubled.

Ford sold 9,900 Mustangs in Europe during 2019, a 3 per cent increase year-on-year, with 1,300 sold in the UK. The European market consists of Austria, Belgium, Britain, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Romania, Sweden, and Switzerland.

In Europe, the Mustang is offered in fastback and convertible body styles, like it is in the U.S. The U.S. market has a more robust lineup of offerings including the 2020 Ford Mustang ShelbyGT500, which has over 700 horsepower.

Last year, Ford introduced an all-electric performance crossover with the Mustang name, the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E. It is on sale now with deliveries expected in the last half of the year.

In 2019 Mustang owners across Europe set a new world record for having over 1,300 Mustangs on parade all at once.

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The new Z starts at under $40,000.

Nissan

The new Nissan Z is finally here, and the 400-horsepower sports car is hitting the market with a reasonable price. The car starts at just $39,990 before a $1,025 destination charge. That's significantly cheaper than the least expensive Toyota Supra for a car with impressive specs and great style.

2023 Nissan ZThe Z gets a 400-horsepower V6 from Infiniti.Nissan

The 2023 Z comes with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that makes 400 horsepower. It's paired with either a six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. That's the enthusiast's dream setup, and it's one of few cars available in the U.S. with a manual gearbox. The body is stiffer and features more reinforcements from prior cars, and the steering system now features electric assistance instead of hydraulics. 18-inch wheels are standard and 19-inchers are available.

When it announced the car, Nissan made a point to talk about its retro-inspired styling and classic proportions. The coupe features a sweeping roofline, a distinct front fascia, and is unmistakeably a Z car, through and through. Inside, the car features a three anlog gauges for a classic look, 12.3-inch configurable digital gauge cluster and a 9-inch touchscreen display. The cabin looks upscale and tech-forward, with deep bucket seats.

2023 Nissan ZThe 2023 Z lands this summer. Nissan

Nissan says the new Z will go on sale in summer 2022. Pricing starts at $39,990 for the base Sport trim, $49,990 for the mid-range Performance trim, and $52,990 for the limited-edition range-topping Proto Spec trim.

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Lincoln will not make a performance variant to compete with Cadillac.

Lincoln

TheLincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade have been duking it out at the top of luxury SUV rankings for decades, but there’s one area of the Caddy’s development that Lincoln won’t touch. In a recent interview, a company executive told Ford Authority that it has no plans to create a performance variant of the Navigator to compete with the upcoming Escalade V from Cadillac.

2022 Lincoln NavigatorThe new Navigator features several upscale touches and excellent tech. Lincoln

That means the Navigator will stick with the powertrain it’s carried for years, which is a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine that makes 440 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with a smooth ten-speed automatic and either rear- or four-wheel drive. While there’s more than enough power to get the hulking Lincoln moving, it’s not a powertrain that inspires excitement or engagement, and though beefy, it’s tuned much more for comfort and quietness than drama.

Though more than adequate, those specs are a far cry from the numbers we expect from the Escalade V. The full-size bruiser from Cadillac is expected to get a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, similar to the unit seen in the CT5-V Blackwing and Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. We don’t know power numbers yet, but the engine should deliver horsepower and torque numbers in the high 600s.

Cadillac Escalade VThe Escalade V will be massively powerful. Cadillac

That Lincoln is taking a different approach isn’t surprising. The automaker has already announced its intention to go all-electric, so pouring more time and resources into creating a performance gas-powered SUV isn’t in line with its goals. Company executives have also expressed a desire to avoid imitating rivals, so the decision to leave a performance Navigator behind is not surprising.

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